1. Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus.
2. You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.
2 Timothy 2 1–2 NLT
In Today’s Passage, Paul has finished his opening salutations to Timothy and is getting to the Meat of the Matter. Let’s not forget that the Books of 1st & 2nd Timothy are essentially Blueprints to becoming Strong and Effective Christian Leaders, and Paul in his final days is doing his very best to make sure that his young protégé is prepared for what he is going to face after his mentor’s demise.
These first two Verses of this Chapter set up the next Theme that Paul is trying to instill in Timothy and his converts, and is the crux for all Leadership Tactics both in the Church and in any significant undertaking. Paul is laying the groundwork for an Army of Christian Soldiers to take up the mantel upon his death, and the Model that we should all aspire to as we strive to Lead God’s people.
First off, Paul tells Timothy to be Strong but not just strong in his own power or his own ability. The Strength that Paul refers to is God’s Power. He tells him to “be Strong in the Grace that is in Christ Jesus. That means that he expects him to Lean on the Might and Abilities of God Himself when he is Guiding the Church, and to cast away his own tainted and limited capabilities.
Paul knows that the only way Timothy and those that come after him are going to be able to endure what is coming is to place their Trust in the One that has Given them the Spirit of God, that will not only Guide them in the Right Paths but will Comfort them when the times get their toughest. It is essential to be confident when you’re going into a fight. Doubt and hesitancy will only get you and those under your Leadership “killed”.
Paul understands that God’s Grace is always there to Bolster His people’s skillsets when the chips are down, and to Lead God’s people, we have to embrace that Fact as well. However, that is not the only thing that Paul admonishes Timothy on in this Passage. He goes on to offer him another Nugget of Gold to take with him on his perilous journey into Christian Leadership.
Paul sees how vitally important it is for Christian Leaders to have a firm hold of the Truth and he has ensured that he has taught the Doctrine of the True Gospel to him every chance that he could, even in this final Letter. Not only that, Paul makes sure that Timothy is not just assuming that what Paul is teaching him is of his own mind and will. He mentions reliable witnesses so that he understands that this is God’s Word, not just his own warped philosophies.
If you expect people to follow you into the Truth you have to both make sure that you are actually teaching them God’s Word and that they know that your Doctrine is not tainted with your own prejudices and false beliefs. There is One Truth and it must be followed to the Letter otherwise you are leading people to destruction, not Salvation.
There is another important caveat nestled within this statement that is essential to Leadership. Every effective Leader, whether Christian or otherwise, has to have a Set of Principles that drives forward their Convictions. If this is not present, no matter how charismatic or captivating the Leader is, eventually those that follow them without such a Set of Guiding Values will fall away to follow someone with True Conviction and a Real Ideology, whether they are as compelling as the original Leader or not. It’s not all about you, it’s about the Message.
Finally, Paul comes to one of the most important aspects of Effective Leadership; Delegation and Recruitment. It is one thing to be a great leader with a powerful message and an irresistible personality but you will only be able to go so far before your momentum stops dead in its tracks if there are not select individuals to carry on your philosophies.
Paul understands just how essential having trustworthy, efficacious, and available subordinates are to being a Successful Leader. Case in point; look at Paul’s current position. He is arguably the most charismatic and effective Christian Leader of all time but if he had never recruited Mighty Men of Valor to take up the mantel after him the Gospel would have died with him.
If you want to be a Good Christian Leader, you have to be willing, ready, and able to draw other worthy men and women to you that are able to understand the Doctrine and disseminate it to those that you may not be able to reach yourself. Otherwise, the Message will stop with you and you may not ever get it to the individuals that will take it to those God intended it to be Preached to.
You cannot do it all yourself. Paul understood this and was making sure that when he was gone, the Gospel did not die with him. In two short, seemingly mundane Verses Paul packs several of the most important tenets of Christian Leadership that we can learn, and we must indeed absorb and enact them if we are to be the Leaders that God has Called us to be. Lean on God’s Grace, Know the Truth, and ensure that others are recruited to help you Spread the Word. This is what the Army of God looks like. March on, soldiers, march on!
Have a Momentous Monday and Be the Change you want to see!